The BBC is increasingly finding ways to make more freely available its vast collection of visual and aural content. The latest example of this is its British Novelists Archive Collection. This is a complement to a BBC TV series, In Their Own Words: British Novelists. But whereas the series of necessity relies on short clips of interviews with leading authors as it charts the history of the 20th century British novel, this website is an archive of complete interviews and talks. These vary in length from five minutes up to an hour, and in year of broadcast from 1937 (Virginia Woolf) to 2009 (Zadie Smith).
This five-volume encyclopedia covers the entire history of British literature from the seventh century to the present, focusing on the writers and the major texts of what are now the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. In five hundred substantial essays written by major scholars, the Encyclopedia of British Literature includes biographies of nearly four hundred individual authors and a hundred topical essays with detailed analyses of particular themes, movements, genres, and institutions whose impact upon the writing or the reading of literature was significant.
Each student should be able to define and give detailed examples of the major distinguishing characteristics of each period of British literature.
Each student should be able to identify the writers and the characteristics of their works in each period.
Each student should gain experience in reading literary texts for specific details, in writing in a well-organized fashion, and in presenting ideas to the class in both formal and informal discussions and presentations.